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Community generosity overflows at Largest Coffee Morning for Hospice Prince Edward

By Fran Renoy
Prince Edward County’s Largest Coffee Morning fundraising event for Hospice Prince Edward overflowed with generosity from Prince Edward County residents Thursday, June 7. Much of the passion is about the need to create a four-bed residential Hospice Centre in Prince Edward County.

Approximately six months ago, Hospice Design and Program Co-ordinator Wayne Carruthers asked me if I would be interested in sitting on a committee to plan the County’s Largest Coffee Party. I have been involved with Hospice as an occasional volunteer and saw the compassionate work that my sister and her fellow volunteers have been doing for many years in the palliative care sector.
My other observation was how cohesively the three well organized staff members worked together in a relatively small office on the second floor of the hospital. It was obvious to me that Executive Director Nancy Parks, Service Coordinator Audrey Whitney and Wayne are very committed to Hospice Prince Edward and they have a very strong belief that the four bed residential hospice will one day be a reality.
The staff are assisted by close to 60 amazingly well-trained volunteers who provided 3,600 hours last year, 1,900 of these hours for direct service to the community with the balance for board activities administration and fundraising. Added to this, Hospice has a very supportive and progressive Board of Directors chaired by Birgit Langwisch.

We eventually formed a committee with the hope of finding 20 individuals to host coffee parties. As this was our first year, we hoped we could raise $5,000 for the project. The response from the community was overwhelming and at the end of the day we had 46 parties booked with approximately 800 guests.
Carolyn Whitely alone was responsible for 14 of these parties. As I stated previously, Hospice Prince Edward has AMAZING volunteers. I can only relate my own personal experience with regard to the enthusiasm shown by the Hospice staff and community for this event.
I asked six of my friends if they would be interested in hosting a coffee party. They all very kindly agreed and went on to hold parties in varying fashions including brunches, wine and cheese and coffee and dessert.

Pastry House owners Bev and Peter supplied complimentary pastries to one party that was held at their bakery. My observation on visiting all six parties was that people were having a good time getting together with their friends and at the same time helping to support Hospice. There were also another 40 coffee parties held in varying fashions. Their stories are still to be told.

The one constant at all of these parties was the Dunes Coffee that was very generously donated by County Roasters and Bean Counter owners Brad and Esther. By the way, various varieties of County Roasters coffee are available in local stores – Sobey’s among them.

I’m delighted to say that the seven parties my friends and I hosted brought in a total of just under $4,000. At the time of filing this story $13,000 had been raised and my suspicion is that the final tally will be in the neighbourhood of $20,000.

This got me thinking about how it is that Hospice Prince Edward is so successful in their fundraising and in fact in some instances not only did they exceed their goal but in fact at least tripled it. The Hike for Hospice is a wonderful example where $51,000 was raised.

I believe that the main reasons for the overwhelming success are the great generosity of the residents and the strong sense of community. I think that Nancy Parks said it best in the Hospice Newsletter that “we live in a remarkable community”. She was in awe of the number of volunteers that came forward to be part of the fundraising projects for the four-bed Hospice project.
I think also that those who donate know that their donations will stay in the County. Because we have a large senior population a residential Hospice is very important.

Thank you to all County residents who consumed copious cups of coffee in PEC’s first Largest Coffee Morning to help support Hospice Prince Edward’s vision of a four-bed Residential Hospice. -Fran Renoy

Click here to see more photographs, and “like” Hospice Prince Edward’s Facebook page


Hospice Prince Edward Coffee party Bistro

More than 40 people gathered at the Milford Bistro to sip the special house blend, munch on yummy oatmeal raisin cookies and share in Jill Hill’s birthday cake, baked by husband John. Guests of party organizers Nora-Lyn Veevers and Elyse Graff McKittrick were joined by those invited by Marilyn Kennedy and Marilyn Lauer. All were delighted to participate in a door prize draw for a Waterford crystal vase - won by Avalon McLean-Smits. Hospice Board Member Bob McKittrick was also on hand to provide an update on the progress toward the ultimate goal of having a residential hospice for the County. Milford Bistro owner Chris Pengelly provided the coffee, cookies and venue and also generously donated the proceeds from the sale of additional bags of these goodies toward the success of this event, which generated more than $1,000. The participation of Chris and his staff was applauded by the party hosts and all those in attendance. Above, Coffee Party Convener Carolynn Whiteley with Hospice Prince Edward Board Member Bob McKittrick

Hostess Geralyn Walmsley, front and centre, with her guests at a PEC Largest Coffee Morning fundraising brunch who raised almost $700 toward the four-bed residential Hospice project.


Phyllis Mabee, (back row, third from left) with her guests at a brunch she served for the PEC Largest Coffee Morning, raisingalmost $500. Phyllis is a volunteer and 20 year member of Cope/Hospice, Prince Edward.


Elizabeth Bygrave, (front row third from the left) with her guests at a PEC Largets Coffee Morning fundraiser she held at her home in Wellington. The group raised more than $500 toward the four-bed residential Hospice project.

Filed Under: Local News

About the Author: Fran Renoy has lived in the County for forty years so considers herself almost a native. Both she and her husband Bill consider themselves very fortunate to live in beautiful Prince Edward County. She worked at PECM hospital for thirty years as a x-ray technologist,retiring in 1998.She has a very strong passion for her local hospital and encourages others to speak up and not be afraid to do so if they feel that services are being eroded.

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